Engadget has some information about the upcoming HDMI 1.4 standard. One of the interesting things is that this spec will add an HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC) that enables 100Mbps data transfers between supported connected devices. Additionally, HDMI 1.4 also delivers Audio Return Channel (ARC), Automic Content Enhancement (ACE), support for up to 4,096 x 2,160 pixels at 30Hz and content recognition.
Put simply, this could allow a "broadband-connected television using its HEC-enabled HDMI port to provide internet connection sharing with another HEC-enabled device such as a game console or DVR." Furthermore, the spec's Audio Return Channel (ARC) enables broadcast audio to be easily streamed back to an external amplifier, and the Automatic Content Enhancement (ACE) provides support for "future 3D video standards, increased resolution support (up to 4,096 x 2,160 pixels at up to 30Hz), and content recognition that promises to automatically optimize the TV's picture settings based on content type."
The bad news is that HDMI 1.4 will require a new cable, and to make matters even worse these new cables will be graded into low and high-data rate performance categories. The first HDMI 1.4 supporting products are expected in 2010.